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Greenlawn Cemetery

Greenlawn Cemetery is a historic cemetery at 195 Nahant Road in Nahant, Massachusetts. Development of the 5.7 acre cemetery was one of the first civic projects of the town of Nahant after its separation from adjacent Lynn in 1853. The cemetery was established in 1856 on 2 acres of land, and has been extended several times to its present size.

Its dominant feature is the Ellingwood Chapel, a Gothic Revival structure built in 1920. A 3.9 acre portion of the cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000. Greenlawn Cemetery is located in western Nahant, on the south side of Nahant Road, the major east-west road through the town. It is bordered on the road by a stone wall, with the Francis H. Johnson Gate at its center providing the principal access. The lane runs southerly, bisecting the cemetery to a circle near the southern boundary where the Veterans Memorial Obelisk is located; from here a lane runs east to the Louise Beal Memorial Gateway at its southeast corner. The cemetery is bisected east-west by a tree-lined lane extending west from the main lane, and by the Ellingwood Chapel to the east.

Nahant was originally settled as part of Lynn, and was largely agrarian until the mid-19th century, when summer resort development began to take place in its eastern half. The town was separated from Lynn in 1853, and the creation of a town cemetery was an early subject of discussion at town meetings. The oldest portion of Greenlawn Cemetery, a 2 acre parcel roughly encompassing the present cemetery’s southern half, was acquired in 1856. A receiving tomb was built the same year, and the first burial took place in 1857. The Soldiers Memorial was dedicated in 1866 to the community’s American Civil War dead. By 1918 further land acquisitions had given the cemetery most of its present configuration, and Ellingwood Chapel was built in 1920, to a design by the architectural firm of Cram and Ferguson. It was funded by Mary Johnson, in honor of her late husband’s parents, Joseph Johnson, Jr. and Joanna Ellingwood Johnson. 

Cemetery Advisory Committee Members

Regulations at Greenlawn

National Register of Historic Places

  • Added 2000: 195 Nahant Road (District #00000481)
  • Historic Significance: Event, Architecture /Engineering
  • Architect, Builder, or Engineer: Cram and Ferguson; JT Wilson & Son, Charles J Connick.
  • Architectural Style: Late Gothic Revival
  • Area of Significance: Architecture, Community Planning And Development
  • Period of Significance: 1850-1874, 1875-1899, 1900-1924, 1925-1949
  • Historic Function: Funerary | Historic Sub-function: Cemetery

Greenlawn Cemetery Expansion


  • 195 Nahant Road
    Nahant, MA 01908